Monday, October 18, 2021



Shinsekai is the entertainment district around the Tsutenkaku Tower in the south of Osaka City,

On the right of the photo above you can see one of the icons of Shinsekai, a character called Billiken, a good-luck figure whose history dates back to when he was enshrined in the area back in 1912. He is the creation of American artist Florence Pretz.

It is claimed that the northern part of Shinsekai is modelled on Paris and the southern part on Coney Island in New York

The area was once considered quite seedy but recently has been a little gentrified by the development of nearby Abeno Harukas and the homless residents are less in evidence, though not invisible.

I was here because there are plenty of very cheap hotels in the area that seem particularly popular with Asian tourists on a budget. There are plenty of retro pachinko parlors and arcades, and the local specialty is Kushikatsu, deep-fried skewers of battered meats and vegetables.

I visited at the end of my first day walking the Kinki Fudo Myo Pilgrimage which I started at Shitennoji Temple, one of the oldest temples in all of Japan with a little-known garden, I had visited a further three temples of the pilgrimage, number 2, Kiyomizudera, a small but very old temple, number 3, Horakuji Temple which was quite a surprise with its massive tree and with plenty of art, and temple 4, Kyozenji Temple.

There had been other sights other than the pilgrimage temples.  An annex of Isshinji Temple was very surprising, as was Aizendo Shomanin Temple. The most interesting shrine of the day was Yasui Shrine enshrining the samurai Sanada Yukimura.

Buy tatami direct from Japan


  1. Great photos! I kinda want to go now

  2. Shinsekai was the only area in Japan where I ever felt uncomfortable walking around. This was back in 1992, well before the area became the low budget hangout it is today (or was before the coronavirus). Back then, I was glared at by day laborers drinking cheap sake outside the flophouses where they were staying, and the atmosphere was a little threatening. I clearly didn't belong there!